During your brief stay in New Haven, you may decide to get some food to wash down your drinks with. Or you may just decide to get some more drinks. Either way, you can find what you want near campus. And freshmen rejoice: the drinking age is only 18! So, put away your scuba club card with the fake birthday scratched on it, and join the grownups for a good time.
In New Haven they spell presumptuous A-T-T-I-C-U-S, for the Atticus bookstore-cafe. A good place for highbrow wimps who are willing to pay $4 for a slice of dry cheesecake, just to be seen there. For anyone else, this place has "avoid" stamped all over it. We were told the Atticus was fashioned after a cafe on Newbury St. in our own Boston. We don't know, we've never been there.
For some inexpensive food and drink, check out the Brewery, located on the corner of Broadway and York Streets. Get there early and take advantage of the 4-7 happy hour, featuring 25 cent draughts and 25 cent hot dogs. This place, which just opened up this fall, wants desperately to be the college hang-out, and continually offers cheap specials on food and drink to draw in the collegiate crowd. Don't go here after dinner, though for by about 10 p.m. the Brewery has turned into just another dumb, psuedo-cool pick-up joint. The money they lose with their early evening specials, they make up later on their ridiculously over-priced drinks. We were charged $1.75 for 10 oz, plastic cups of draught beer.
Fitzwilly's. on Elm St. was a little too chic for our tastes, and a little too crowded. The food is moderately priced and pretty good, but after about 10 p.m., you don't have a prayer of reaching the bar. You only know Fitzwilly's is Fitzwilly's if someone tells you so, because the sign outside says only "This is a Restaurant." Sound silly? Case Closed.
Like the Brewery, Gentree is a new bar trying to make it with the college crowd. But Gentree goes after its clientele with a little more subtlety. Recline with a banana daquiri and soak up the mellow atmosphere. If you feel rowdy. Gentree can still accommodate you. Try a full liter "Gusto" mug of draught beer. The food is inexpensive and pretty good. Try the spicy nachos.
The Greenery, located on Chapel St., was aptly described by one of our Yale acquaintances as a "fern bar." It resembles a little too closely all those sill over-priced places at Quincy market where the aggressive yount beautiful people hang out and drink Cuervo. The food is expensive and not worth the bother. But if you do make your way into the Greenery this weekend, ask Nelson, the bartender, to make you a "nipple," his own concoction and a drink so good it has been entered in a national bar-tenders& contest.
You don't have to be told to stay away from Mory's. Yale's modern day equivalent to what the Hasty Pudding Club was like way back when. You won't be able to eat here because this place is for members only. They didn't get into your university, so you're not goinf to get into their restaurant. Rumor has it they keep this place closed to the public to hide some aggressively mediocre cuisine.
For your basic pizza-pitcher of beer deal, head over to Naples Pizza at 90 Wall St. No pretensions about this place, a very rowdy joint. Usually crowded late on weekend nights, and one of the few gathering places for students on campus. You will probably run into a bunch of your friends there.
A little out of the way, yet worth the walk, is the New China Restaurant, located on Howe St. (ask someone). The portions are plentiful and the food is inexpensive, especially the combination plates.
Right next to the Greenery is New Haven--a Restaurant. Like the Greenery, this place could aptly be described as a fern bar. Outside, the sign states proudly: New Haven--a Great Town, a Great Restaurant." We remain skeptical.
Old Heidelberg, on Chapel St., is the oldest bar in town, and a favorite college hang-out. The food is unspectacular, except for the steaks, which are superb. But you don't go here for the food. Grab a frosty mug of dark beer and melt back into the ancient woodwork. Beautiful.
The Yale Daily once described Rudy's located on Elm St. as the "ultimate rowdy drinking place, carved up tables, varsity pictures and all." We tend to agree. Go here and gloat if Harvard wins, stay away if we lose. This is where you will find the Eli football team after the game, so gloat cautiously.
Although it serves no food, Toad's Place deserves mention here. Located on Chapel St. right across from Stillman Library ("it can really be a pain when you're trying to study in the Stillman stacks--a Yalie), Toad's is renamed as probably the best rock club in town. Deceptively large inside, Toad's Place manages to draw some of the finest musical talent on the East Coast.